Transport User Voice – Bus services in Scotland set for major shake-up

29 September 2017

Proposed Transport Bill

The way local bus services in Scotland are run could be set for major shake-up.

The Scottish Government has proposed changes to the way buses are run in a new Transport Bill and we’re working hard to make sure passengers’ top priorities are heard.

The Transport Bill will provide local transport authorities with new ways of providing local bus services. Options include partnerships with operators, franchising, or local authorities running their own services to better meet local users’ need.

The Bill will also contain provision for more smart ticketing on public transport in Scotland. We will be drawing on the wide-ranging smart ticketing research programme to help inform this part of the consultation and make sure that products are designed for ease of use rather than what is convenient to administer.

Transport Scotland published two consultation documents to inform the Bill:

We will use the wealth of information we have from speaking to 20,000 bus passengers in Scotland in our Bus Passenger Survey to ensure that the best interests of passengers are at the heart of the consultation.

Scottish passengers top priorities

We also recently presented our rail passengers’ priorities for improvement research at a workshop discussing the challenges the railway in Scotland faces in the future (Control Period 6 2019-2025).

We will be working alongside the rail industry to ensure that it is making best use of the resources available to it to deliver better journeys for passengers in Scotland. The needs of passengers must be placed at the heart of the plans for the future so we’ll be making sure passengers’ top priorities are understood.

Getting the best deal for CrossCountry passengers

Transport Focus also attended a workshop in Glasgow, in advance of next year’s expected CrossCountry franchise consultation. In our research passengers told us they want to improvements to journey planning, ticketing, on-train services, stations and the timing and frequency of services. We’re making sure what passengers tell us about their experiences of CrossCountry and requirements for improvements are heard and understood.

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